The Indian government has set a high level committee, headed by the special director of the Enforcement Directorate, India’s economic intelligence and law enforcement agency, to investigate the funding received by three Nehru-Gandhi family linked trusts. It is suspected that these trusts had received funds in violation of various laws, like those prohibiting money laundering and foreign contributions.
MHA sets up inter-ministerial committee to coordinate investigations into violation of various legal provisions of PMLA, Income Tax Act, FCRA etc by Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust & Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) July 8, 2020
Spl. Dir of ED will head the committee.
The probe has been ordered under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the 2002 Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and the Income Tax Act due to the donations received by the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation (RGF), Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust and Indira Gandhi Memorial Trust.
The Nehru-Gandhi family are the descendants of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and India’s first female Prime Minister Indira Gandhi (but not the country's founder, Mahatma Gandhi). Sonia Gandhi is the current head of India’s primary opposition party Congress, and her son Rahul Gandhi is also a party member; the two are central to the Gandhi clan.
A few days ago, JP Nadda, president of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, raised questions over alleged links between the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation and China.
As the opposition launched scathing attacks at the ruling party against the backdrop of the stand-off with China, the BJP president accused the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by Sonia Gandhi, of accepting a donation of $300,000 from the Chinese embassy between 2005 to 2009 to carry out studies that were "not in the national interest".
The RGD's annual report for 2005-06 lists the Embassy of The People’s Republic of China as one of its “partner organisations and donors”.
China is also listed as a donor to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies (RGICS), a policy think tank promoted by RGF. Other RGICS donors include the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the European Commission, the Government of Ireland and the United Nations Development Programme.